In 1990, the Team’s principal and driver, Walter Lechner, entered the Interserie Coupe Super Sports with a Porsche 962C KH sponsored by Walter Lechner Racing School and Jim Beam. Lechner won the fourth race of the Championship, held on the historic Brands Hatch circuit.
The Sauber Mercedes C9 was a Group C race car, built by Sauber in partnership with Mercedes-Benz. Chassis was mainly an aluminium monocoque, with magnesium elements and carbon-fibre skins. It had double wishbone suspensions, with direct-action at front and rocker-arm at rear, as well as Speedline magnesium rims, 17” front and 19” rear, and Brembo cast-iron 14” disc brakes. In 1988, the car was powered the ‘M117’ engine, a twin turbo, 5 litres, V8, with semi-stressed function, which used the 500SL passenger car crankcase. The two valves per cylinder were controlled by a single over head camshaft, with chain drive. In qualifying specifications, the boost pressure was 1.2 bar, and power was 800 bhp at 7000 rpm. Torque had a very flat band from 3000 to 8000 rpm, which gave the Sauber C9 a great advantage in exiting corners. Overall weight was 865 kg. Mike Thackwell was fast, talented, young, but eventually “moved away from the highest level of motor sports”, as recently written in one of the very few interviews released. He drove the Sauber Mercedes C9 in 1987 at the Norisring “ADAC Würth Supercup” event.
The Porsche 962 is a sport-prototype racing car created to replace the already successful Porsche 956, in order to allow it to race the IMSA and WSC Group C competitions. It was one of the most successful racing cars ever and it won several competitions all over the world:
– World Sport-Prototype Championship in 1985 and 1986
– 24h Le Mans in 1986, 1987 and 1994
– IMSA GTP Championship in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988
– 24h Daytona in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1991
– 12h Sebring in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988
The IMSA ‘GTP’ regulations required some modifications in comparison with Porsches designed for the Group C. Front axle was shifted 12 centimetres ahead, so that driver’s feet could stay behind the hubs of the wheels. The boxer 6 cylinders engine had a displacement of 3.2 litres, was air-cooled, with only one turbo, 2 valves per cylinder and one single overhead camshaft. The 12 Hours of Sebring in 1988, was won by this Porsche driven by A.J.Foyt and H. Haywood.
1990 - Le Mans / #54 - M. Monti, F. Magnani, A. Hepworth
The LC2 was designed by Lancia to race in the Sport-Prototype category, according to the Group C regulations. It raced for the first time in 1983. Designed by Dallara, it was powered by a Ferrari engine, whose heads had been evolved from those of the 288 GTO; the electronic control unit was highly sophisticated and ahead of its time. The engine itself was a 90° 3 litres liquid-cooled V8, with two turbochargers, working at a maximum pressure of 3 bars; four valves per cylinder were driven by double over head camshaft. Overall the maximum power was 840 hp at 7000 rpm. Gearbox was a 5 gears Hewland unit, and rims were 15″ front and 17″ rear. Chassis was made of aluminium and magnesium while body was carbon fibre composite. The overall weight was 850 kg. Lancia LC2s were as quick as Porsches, in terms of pure speed, but lacked reliability. Lancia raced LC2 cars ex-works throughout 1986; later, and until 1991, it was raced by privateers only. A Lancia LC2 was entered by Team Mussato in the World Prototype Championship in 1986. This specific model of car No.54, driven by M. Monti, F. Magnani and A. Hepworth, raced in 1990 the 24 hours of Le Mans.